Girls Soccer: Lady Hubs dominate Senior Night match with Pecatonica

The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity soccer team honored its six senior players after Tuesday's match against Pecatonica. Above from left to right are Kailey Harris, Jasmin Hernandez, Lupita Rocha, Abby Tarvestad, Mavi Avila and Maricruz Milan Roman. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Six seniors honored as Rochelle blows out Indians 13-0

ROCHELLE — There were goals coming left and right for the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity soccer team as the purple and white celebrated Senior Night on Tuesday with a historic offensive outburst against Pecatonica. Sophomore Makayla Lara booted in a season-high five goals while adding three assists for the Lady Hubs, who crushed the Indians 13-0 in their season finale.

Seniors Abby Tarvestad, Jasmin Hernandez, Kailey Harris, Mavi Avila, Maricruz Milan Roman and Lupita Rocha were each recognized for their time with the Lady Hub soccer program after the match concluded. Rochelle (7-9, 3-3 Interstate 8) will enter the IHSA 2A Rochelle Regional on a two-match winning streak as a date with Belvidere North in the semifinal round awaits.

“It’s always a day that I look forward to and I thought the girls played really well today,” head coach Brad Male said. “I thought we moved the ball better than we have all season and that’s what I was looking forward to. I definitely think this win is a confidence builder for our girls and the main focus for us is continuing to move the ball into space where we can take quality shots.”

The Lady Hubs took control of the nonconference match right away, earning a 2-0 advantage after Lara scored back-to-back goals during the second and fourth minutes, with Lara’s second goal coming on an assist from the senior defender Harris. Moving up from her usual defensive position, Hernandez went on the attack from the midfield position, cashing in an assist from junior Kara Martinez during the ninth minute to help Rochelle command a 3-0 lead in the match.

Pecatonica briefly held the Lady Hubs at bay midway through the first half, but three more goals allowed Rochelle to hold a 6-0 halftime advantage. Martinez scored two of her three goals on Tuesday during the first half, converting assists from the senior midfielder Avila and junior Sydney Thorne in the 22nd and 27th minutes. Sophomore Emma Kennay joined the party during the 24th minute, scoring on a deflected shot that bounced off the right goalpost.

“I hope that our experience and what we accomplished today will work for us during the regional next week,” Male said. “We need to continue working together and looking for those scoring opportunities. We may only have one or two opportunities, so we have to make them count.”

The Lady Hubs brought several players off the bench in the second half, where freshman Deissy Torres scored on a Lara assist in the 45th minute to give Rochelle a 7-0 lead. Sophomores Evileth Mendez and Betty Flores each found the net late in the second half, with Mendez scoring her first goal of the season in the 52nd minute and Flores blasting a right-footed shot into the back of the Indian net with roughly six seconds remaining in the match. 

Lara recorded three second-half goals for the Lady Hubs, scoring in the 46th, 50th and 54th minutes to cap off her five-goal outing. Martinez completed her hat trick in the 49th minute for the Lady Hubs, who entered Tuesday’s match having scored 36 goals in 15 prior matches.

“The camaraderie stands out to me the most about our seniors,” Male said. “They really pulled these girls together and it’s been a joy to watch them work together. I’m hoping that we’ll be together for a few more matches.”